By Ada Brownell
I imagine you’ve read or heard the true stories about someone taken to the morgue, and then a hand moves, an eye opens, or a leg lifts, and the person is alive.
Perhaps you were one of the hundreds who purchased Heaven is For Real, the story of a young boy who emerges from life-saving surgery with remarkable stories about heaven. The book about little Colton by Todd Burpo, a Nebraska pastor, has 7,781 reviews and now is a movie.
I attended a writers’ conference where the keynote speaker was Cecil Muriphey, who wrote 90 Minutes in Heaven with Don Piper, who lived again after declared dead at the scene of an accident where his car was crushed under the wheels of a truck .A pastor waiting at the scene 90 minutes later said God told him to pray for the dead man. He did, and Piper immediately breathed and came to life. The book is another best seller.
I tell in my book, Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, about Lynn Orr, a man I knew in Denver, who had a heart attack. He said one minute he lay in a hospital bed, and the next his bare feet stood on a smooth street paved with gold. In the distance, he saw a beautiful gate and a city. He smelled gorgeous flowers, and heard singing and rejoicing. He talked with Jesus. Then he was back in the bed, worrying his body wasn’t covered as medical personnel zapped his heart and brought him back.
I don’t remember how long Lynn was said to be clinically dead, but he testified to the glories of heaven and a few weeks after I heard him speak, he went to be with Jesus. He said after seeing heaven, he no longer desired to live on earth.
To many people, these testimonies are proof of life after death. They are wonderful to hear. Yet, are they proof?
In Swallowed by Life, I present evidence from medical science that we are more a body. I go into the miracles of cell death and rejuvenation, where our bodies die and are replaced one cell at a time until after seven years our whole body has died and been renewed except for the central nervous system, and some evidence shows even dead brain cells sometimes rejuvenate.
But the greatest evidence is before our eyes all the time. We begin life as a fertilized egg and we’re the person we became from the day God-designed life burst into that tiny egg. We grew in the womb and were born at seven pounds or so, and we’re still the same person, although we might weigh a couple hundred pounds now.
I or you could lose weight, a part of our flesh, and we’d still me or you—whoever we were before.
We could lose a leg, an arm, an eye, have diseased organs removed. A surgeon could even cut out our heart, kidneys, lungs and transplant someone else’s and we would still be who we are.
All the things I mention are evidence we are more than a body. A neurologist told me he believes the brain is the residence of the soul, so perhaps that’s why the neurological system doesn’t die and regenerate constantly as other parts do.
Yet, is that proof we aren’t as connected to our bodies as we thought? I think it’s great evidence, but still it’s not proof.
Why? Because resurrection and salvation are matters of faith. John tells us, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever believes in me will never die” (John 10:25-26).
St. Paul wrote to the Romans, “If you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
Jesus said, “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19).
Do you believe? That’s what you need to do, because no one will disprove it or prove it, and you have to believe in Jesus to live forever.
It’s your decision.
SWALLOWED BY LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal
By Ada Brownell
Do you believe you could live with someone else’s heart or kidneys, but not without your body? Evidence shows we’re more than flesh. The author, a prolific religion writer and retired medical journalist, talks about the evidence; the wonder of life with all its electrical systems; the awesome truth about cell death and regeneration; mysteries surrounding the change from mortal to immortal; where we go when our body dies; resurrection; and a glimpse at what we will do in heaven. Questions and answers make this non-fiction inspirational book a great text for group study. It’s written for support groups, religion classes, people with chronic or terminal illness, individuals who fear death or are curious about it, the grieving, and those who give them counsel.
Review: “It was wonderful how the author merged the medical with the spiritual.”
Where you can find Swallowed by Life:
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/JnbKVL